Fractures of the proximal interphalangeal joint

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2000 Nov-Dec;8(6):383-90. doi: 10.5435/00124635-200011000-00006.


Fractures of the proximal interphalangeal joint constitute a broad spectrum of injuries. An understanding of the anatomy, the potential for joint instability, and the treatment options is essential to management of these fractures. Commonly observed fracture patterns involve one or both condyles of the proximal phalanx or the base of the middle phalanx. Fractures of the middle phalanx may involve the palmar lip or the dorsal lip or may be a "pilon" type of injury involving both the palmar and the dorsal lip with extensive intra-articular comminution. Intra-articular injuries may lead to joint subluxation or dislocation and must be identified in a timely manner to limit loss of motion, degenerative changes, and impaired function. These injuries range from those requiring minimal intervention to obtain an excellent outcome to those that are challenging to the most experienced surgeon. The treatment options include extension-block splinting, percutaneous pinning, traction, external fixation, open reduction and internal fixation, and volar-plate arthroplasty. Prompt recognition of the complexity of the injury and appropriate management are essential for an optimal functional outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Finger Injuries / physiopathology
  • Finger Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Finger Injuries / surgery*
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnosis
  • Fractures, Bone / physiopathology
  • Fractures, Bone / rehabilitation
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Immobilization
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Traction